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Commissioners call for action to increase energy independence, lower energy costs

The Monmouth County Board of County Commissioners is renewing a call on federal and state policymakers to take immediate action to adopt policies that will help lead to energy independence and lower costs in the United States and in New Jersey.

“My fellow commissioners and I passed a resolution in March calling on our federal and state policymakers to take action as we saw fuel prices rising at the fastest pace recorded since 2000 and nothing has been done,” Commissioner Director Thomas A. Arnone was quoted as saying in a June 13 press release.

“Three months later, we are midway through the year and starting to see the startling effects fuel prices are having on county operations. As of (June 13), we are on track to spend three times as much on fuel in 2022 than we did in 2020. We want our residents to know we are working hard to maintain services while also balancing our budget, but we need our policymakers to provide relief,” said Arnone.

According to a press release, measures the county has already taken to offset increasing costs include the installation of solar panels on some trucks to reduce idling while using warning lights during road and bridge maintenance operations; recycling of asphalt in-house to produce Hot Patch for repairing and paving operations; scheduling of multiple maintenance operations in one work zone to reduce equipment and trucks required; procurement of trucks which are bio-diesel compatible to be able to use fuel produced from soybeans and other similar products; upgrading and replacement of heating and air conditioning systems in county buildings; conducting energy audits on facilities; and other measures.

“These measures not only reduce our energy use and cost, but also lower the county’s carbon footprint,” said Arnone. “We will continue to look to find creative ways to offset the surging cost of fuel, but we still need our federal and state policymakers to address this problem immediately.”

In the press release, the commissioners acknowledged that the causes of surging energy prices are complex and multi-faceted, but said many industry experts agree that misplaced federal and state energy policies hinder domestic energy production and are at least, in part, to blame.

“Now, more than ever, we need sound energy policies that encourage domestic energy production and re-establish our energy independence, stability and security. Again, we need action and we need it now,” said Arnone.

All five members of the Monmouth County Board of County Commissioners are Republicans. Arnone is joined on the governing body by Lillian Burry, Susan Kiley, Ross Licitra and Dominick DiRocco.

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